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Message started by Mak Nad on 31st Jan, 2016 at 2:55am

Title: Explosion rocks Central Laos and kills two Chinese Nationals
Post by Mak Nad on 31st Jan, 2016 at 2:55am

Beijing — Two people from China were killed and a third was wounded by a recent bomb blast near a military camp in Laos, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, state news reports and an article by Radio Free Asia.

The explosion took place in the mountainous Xaysomboun Province in central Laos on Sunday, although details of the attack were slow to trickle. The men were in a truck when a bomb exploded nearby.

One of those killed worked for a mining company based in Yunnan Province, in southwest China, which shares a border with Laos, according to a report by Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency.

The explosion occurred about 8 a.m. Laotian military personnel arrived at the scene, and the wounded man, whose surname is Zhou, was taken to Vientiane, the capital, Xinhua reported.

Radio Free Asia, which is financed by the United States government, reported on Thursday that the attack had taken place at a road construction site and that work on the project stopped afterward. The blast was the third in the area in a month, the report said, and soldiers defused a roadside bomb in the area on Dec. 30.

One witness reported driving past the bomb site shortly after the attack and seeing about 10 soldiers inspecting a damaged truck with the dead and wounded Chinese inside, Radio Free Asia said. The report also quoted an official with the road construction company saying it was removing its equipment from the construction zone.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a regularly scheduled news conference in Beijing on Monday that consular officials from the embassy in Vientiane had visited with the wounded person, and that China had urged the Laotian government to solve the case as soon as possible. The ministry also advised Chinese citizens in Laos to take more precautions. Ms. Hua did not offer any potential motives for the attack.

China is one of the biggest trade partners and foreign investors in Laos, a landlocked country ruled by the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, which is Communist. A growing number of Chinese businesspeople are working in Laos, and that has led to resentment among some Laotians.

One signature investment project by China is a 260-mile China-Laos railway that is expected to cost more than $6 billion and that will connect Vientiane with Chinese cities. China has a 70 percent stake in the project, which officials say will be in operation by 2020. China’s long-term goal is for the train to connect Kunming, in Yunnan Province, with Singapore, which is far south of Laos.

Last week, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party named Bounnhang Vorachith, 78, as its new leader, signaling that Laos might try to build closer ties to Vietnam and maintain greater distance from China. Mr. Bounnhang was trained by the Vietnamese military and studied in that country, according to news reports. Vietnam, also ruled by a Communist party, is wary of China, especially in light of Chinese moves in recent years to assert its territorial claims in contested waters in the South China Sea.

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